Kumho Tire Co. Inc.—$328 million to boost capacity at car and light truck tire plants in the U.S. and Vietnam, including a doubling of capacity at its factory in Ben Cat, Vietnam, in response to growing demand in North America.
In the U.S., Kumho is budgeting $23 million to boost capacity at its Macon, Ga., factory by 550,000 units a year by year-end 2022 to nearly 3.9 million units a year.
In Vietnam, Kumho plans to spend $305 million over two years to boost the 13-year-old plant's capacity to 9.3 million units a year, versus 3.8 million in its current form.
Linglong Tire—$945 million for a radial truck tire factory in the central China province of Shaanxi, with projected annual capacities of 15.2 million "semi-steel and all-steel" radial tires and 500,000 retreaded tires.
Construction is expected to start in April 2022 and be completed in three phases by March 2028. It will be Linglong's sixth factory in China.
The move is part of the company's global expansion strategy, which it revised recently to a "7+5" format—seven plants in China and five globally—from the "6+6" strategy it had been pursuing the past few years.
J.S.C. Nizhnekamskshina—$270 million for a Phase II expansion of production capacity for all-steel radial truck tires by 75 percent at its plant in Nizhnekamsk. The project will boost capacity there to 2.8 million truck tires and 33,000 units of annual capacity for large agricultural and industrial tires.
Sailun Tire Group—$946 million to build, expand and refurbish factories in China, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In Cambodia, Sailun is committing $338 million to build a car and light truck tire factory in that nation's Svay Rieng Province, scheduled to go on stream by 2023-24 and rated at 9 million units a year at full capacity. The new plant will be Sailun's fifth factory worldwide and second outside of China.
In Vietnam, Sailun plans to expand capacities for car, truck and OTR tires at its 7-year-old plant there in response to rising demand from customers in the U.S. and Europe.
The project is budgeted at $462 million over three years and will boost annual capacity at the plant by 3 million passenger tires, 1 million truck/bus tires and 50,000 metric tons of OTR tires, Sailun said.
Separately, Sailun commissioned production early in 2021 at a refurbished radial tire plant in Weifang, Shandong Province, that previously belonged to Anchi Tyres. Sailun acquired the facility in January and budgeted $130 million to upgrade it into a smart factory. It completed the project two months ahead of schedule.
Located in the Weifang's Zhucheng Economic Development Zone, the plant is rated at 6 million passenger and 1.5 million truck/bus tires a year, Sailun said.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.—$425 million over three years to increase capacities at plants in Brazil, Japan, Thailand and the U.S.
The project in Brazil, budgeted at $200 million, will boost capacity for passenger car and light truck tires at the plant in Fazenda Rio Grande, Parana, Brazil, nearly 28 percent to 23,000 per day by April 2024.
Additionally, the factory also will double capacity for medium truck and bus tires to 2,200 per day by April 2025, up from the current 1,000 per day.
In Asia, SRI has budgeted $102 million to expanding capacity for tires for light truck and SUV applications at plants in Amati, Thailand, and Miyazaki, Japan. SRI aims to produce 4,150 of these tires per day by year-end 2023 at the Thai plant in Amati City and 1,600 units/day at the Miyazaki plant by year-end 2024.
In the U.S., SRI will invest $122 million over three years to increase capacity for car, light truck and medium truck tires at its factory in Tonawanda, N.Y., in response to increased demand. SRI is budgeting $96 million to nearly double capacity for car and light truck tires to 12,000 units a day by year-end 2023, as well as $26 million through year-end 2024 to raise truck tire capacity 31.4 percent to 2,300 tires a day.
TVS Srichakra Ltd.—$135 million over three years to expand capacity for two- and three-wheeler and OTR tires at plants in Madurai and Pantnagar, India. The investment project will result in a 25-30 percent increase in capacity for two- and three-wheel tires and a doubling of capacity for off-highway tires, the Madurai-based company said.
Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.—$336 million for an off-the-road tire plant in India's Andhra Pradesh Province, due on stream by 2023. The plant, which will have a rated capacity of 123 metric tons a day of OTR tires by 2024, is under construction at a site near Visakhapatnam, India, a port city on the Bay of Bengal about 500 miles north of Chennai.
The plant, to be operated by Yokohama's Alliance Tire subsidiary, will be its third OTR tire factory in India and eighth worldwide.
Zhongce Rubber Group (ZC Rubber)—Broke ground on an additional expansion of capacity at its manufacturing complex in Rayong, Thailand, as part of an ongoing investment program at the site.
The new project—comprising a separate factory structure spanning over 609,000 square feet of floor area—will complete the tire makers' Phase III initiative to add annual capacity of 5 million passenger car tires and 1.2 million truck/bus tires, ZC Rubber said.
On the other side of the ledger, Bridgestone, Michelin and Toyo Tire Corp. closed plants in the past year and Continental is planning to shut one by year-end.
Bridgestone closed its truck, farm and OTR tire plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, last November, closing the books on that factory's 84-year history. Bridgestone cited the unprofitable nature of the factory's bias-ply manufacturing capacity for its decision to shut the plant, originally opened by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.
Michelin closed its Roche-sur-Yon, France, truck tire plant in late 2020 as part of a wider restructuring program across Europe. The move took out 1.2 million units of annual capacity.
Since then, Michelin has supported efforts to convert the 47-year-old structure into an innovation cluster for sustainable energy.
Toyo Tire Corp. dissolved its Silverstone Bhd. subsidiary in Malaysia and closed the unit's car, truck, farm and industrial tire plant in Kamunting, Malaysia.
Toyo earlier said it would transfer the 32-year-old plant's production capacity of 3 million units to its Toyo Tyre Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. subsidiary nearby and discontinue the Silverstone brand.
Continental is planning to close its car and light truck tire plant in Aachen, Germany, by year-end 2021, idling up to 8 million units of annual capacity.
The factory opened in 1931 by then-independent Belgian tire maker Societe du Pneu Englebert, which became Uniroyal-Englebert in the late 1950s.
Continental acquired that company in 1979.